Making a Compact Flash-based installer

Brian McCann bjmccann at
Tue Nov 29 18:00:30 GMT 2005

I've booted off of CF before...and am doing so because the arrays are
>2TB, and the BIOS won't boot from it.  I just made a boot floppy,
then DD'd it to the CF card.  If your CF card is >640 (or 700) MB, you
could do the same (DD from the CD to CF).

Hope that helps.

On 11/29/05, tsuraan <tsuraan at> wrote:
> I've been using a custom bootable CD for a while to install a
> customized build of FreeBSD on servers, but now I have a unit that has
> neither a CD-ROM drive nor any molex connectors at all.  It does have
> a pair of compact flash drives though.  So, what I'd like to do is
> transfer the data from my bootable CDs to a compact flash card, so I
> can install off that instead.  What I've tried so far is set up a new
> disklabel on the drive (actually, on a file initialized with mdconfig)
> that has its -b set to the CDs /boot/boot, and I've copied the
> contents of the CD to the cf card.  This results in a card that is
> bootable, but the boot loader says the card is not ufs (it is), and it
> can't find the kernel.  The actual commands I'm using (from memory)
> are:
> # dd if=/dev/zero of=mydrive bs=1m count=100
> # mdconfig -a -t vnode -f cd.iso -u 0
> # mount -t cd9660 /dev/md0 /cdrom
> # mdconfig -a -t vnode -f mydrive -u 1
> # bsdlabel -w -B -b /cdrom/boot/boot md1
> # newfs /dev/md1
> # mount /dev/md1 /mnt
> # cp -r /cdrom/* /mnt/
> # umount /mnt
> # umount /cdrom
> # mdconfig -d -u 1
> # mdconfig -d -u 0
> # dd if=mydrive of=/dev/ad2
> So, has anyone done this, and actually had it work?
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Brian McCann
Systems & Network Administrator, K12USA

"I don't have to take this abuse from you -- I've got hundreds of
people waiting to abuse me."
                -- Bill Murray, "Ghostbusters"

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